Data center demand response with on-site renewable generation: A bargaining approach

Xuanyu Cao, Junshan Zhang, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The rapid growth of cloud computing and data centers with skyrocketing energy consumption, together with the accelerating penetration of renewable energy sources, is creating both severe challenges and tremendous opportunities. Data centers offering large flexible loads in the grid, opens up a unique opportunity to smooth out the significant fluctuation and uncertainty of renewable generation and hence enable seamless integration. To take the market power of data centers into consideration, this paper proposes a bargaining solution to the market program for data center demand response when the load serving entity (LSE) has power supply deficiency. Specifically, due to the uncertainty of load flexibility of data centers incurred by the intermittent on-site renewable generation and dynamic service requests, there exists information asymmetry between the LSE and the data center, which complicates the design of the bargaining solution. Making use of the log-concavity of the (expected) utility functions, a computationally efficient method to implement the best response updates in the bargaining procedure is presented. Furthermore, it is shown analytically that the bid sequences of the LSE and the data center are guaranteed to converge and the final price clinched by the bargaining algorithm is indeed the Nash bargaining solution, which is proportionally fair. In addition, the proposed bargaining solution is compared with two other schemes, namely the Stackelberg game and the social welfare maximization schemes. Finally, extensive numerical experiments are conducted to validate the theoretical guarantees of the bargaining and to examine the impact of various model parameters. Empirical comparison indicates the fairness advantage of the bargaining approach over the other two schemes, especially when the load of the data center is not very flexible, highlighting the importance of information feedback embodied by the bargaining procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8511065
Pages (from-to)2707-2720
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Data center
  • Nash bargaining solution
  • bargaining
  • demand response
  • load serving entity
  • renewable energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Data center demand response with on-site renewable generation: A bargaining approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this